Stationhairy: One man’s struggle at Fowler

by Conner Anderson

With the fall season looming on the horizon, necessitating innumerable shirtless excursions, I decided to make a trip to Fowler, Sewanee’s sanctuary for fitness enthusiasts. After putting on my finest athletic gear, drinking copious amounts of pre-workout, and ensuring that my outfit — a fittingly purple and gold track suit with white stripes on the sides — matched my companion’s (open to interpretation), I embarked to the fitness center, somewhat slowed, despite the pre-workout coursing through my veins, by every person’s worst nightmare: cardio day.

The prospect of cardio compelled me, along with my partner (again, open to interpretation), to drive to Fowler which, in retrospect, seems pretty counterintuitive to our whole purpose. Anyway, the entrance to Fowler required the usual pleasantries: swiping my card, grabbing my towel, venturing down to the men’s locker room, examining my physique in the mirror from several different angles, weighing myself repeatedly for certainty, making the perfect playlist, and ‘stretching,’ which all prepared me for the strenuous workout ahead.

Finally, I mounted the stationary bike and began to pedal slowly, warming up for some high intensity interval training. For those unfamiliar, this simply involves alternating between pedaling full speed at high resistances, followed by lower speeds at lower resistances, which — at about the ten minute mark — becomes pretty brutal.

To my horror, at about the bike’s tenth revolution, the right pedal gave out, knocking me out of rhythm and shooting my right leg into an awkward, painful hyperextension. My workout partner, situated on the adjacent bike, shot me a knowing smile, which clarified his earlier hustle to get on the other bike.

I continued cycling for another infuriating thirty minutes, awkwardly spinning out of control about every ten to fifteen seconds. At the end of my rope, and with expletives reverberating around the inside of my head — also occasionally leaving my mouth — I left Fowler mentally frustrated, physically out of tune, and thoroughly soaked in sweat. ‘Guys’ gym day’ had metamorphosed into a hellacious ‘stationhairy’ day of crushed spirits.

My point for all this: don’t let a stationary bike ruin your day. Students, if you ever find yourself mounted precariously on a faulty bike, immediately remove yourself from the destructive situation. And to those in charge of Fowler’s stationary bikes, undoubtedly a large bureaucratic sect of Sewanee administrators, please show some mercy and divert some funds towards bike repairs and/or a new bike. Remember, morale on the Mountain is at stake